Three myths of great coaching - life or business

High Performance Executive coaching | Janis Janovskis

I was inspired to create this post by a client - the managing director of the EU country's local offices for a large technology colouring company.
Perhaps I should mention the business's name, yet as my coaching sessions are discrete, I'll also disguise the company name.

Anyway, this client called me the other day and asked to resume our coaching sessions: I was asked to help with specific project goals. After a short conversation, we parted, and I hoped to get quick confirmation of our plan.

Time went by as I waited for a call to confirm our call schedule. Eventually, I called back myself, and to my surprise, the confidence in having sessions with me was gone - the doubts kicked in about whether it was actually needed. A short chatter revealed the main reasons for why and doubts, hence the basis for this article.

Myth number 1: Too much advice

First of all, proper coaching is not about advising. "The answer is always within the individual", the old counselling idiom assesses wonderfully. John Maxwell's leadership coaching method, "A-OO-A COACHING FRAMEWORK", and the other one TGOROW, are absolutely against becoming an advisor and counsel. Our job as coaches is to put people in entirely different thinking levels to enable them to contemplate deeper. Eventually, the behavioural patterns will change for the better and good. So it is neither much advice nor advice at all - we help you grow as an individual. 

Myth number 2: This time, no help is needed I can do it myself.

Getting something done always boosts self-esteem, and leaders must deliver even if it's something they don't prefer doing.
Surprisingly I am a fan of asking questions and advice; I love being challenged with tough questions raising my awareness. Proverbs 11:14 says: "but victory is won through many advisers.". Getting advice from someone else does not alter our commitments - we'll have to get it done: that part is on our shoulders. Asking for advice means being humble and brave simultaneously: it means not being selfish and self-reliant and seeking other opinions. 

Myth number 3: I'll only rely on numbers, theories, and pragmatism.

We constantly believe that the success of our businesses and organisations is driven by numbers and theories only - we just need to push them higher. Yet - are we ready for that level. Take sports, for example - great players don't win high-level tournaments or the Olympics solely on their skillset; they must be mentally ready. You hear occasional wins - sensations, but then you can spot a person dropping back at the next contest. Big wins required much tougher mental readiness. In leadership, there are many laws. Perhaps the most relevant for this is the Law of The Lid - your organisation or business can't outgrow yourself: to achieve better results, you must invest in yourself. As another coaching idiom perfectly depicts it: "First develop the leader, then the business."